Most vegetable seeds can stay viable for years Most vegetable seeds stay good for about two to three years, but some, such as onions, deteriorate in a year. Lettuce, on the other hand, can sprout successfully after five years. Most vegetable seeds will last until their expiration date if they are kept fresh, dry and out of sunlight. Baker Seed guarantees seeds for at least two years after purchase.
Most seeds last three to five years after purchase, but those dates may vary by variety. You can save vegetable seeds from your garden products for planting next year. Seed saving involves selecting the right plants to save seeds from, harvesting the seeds at the right time, and storing them properly during the winter. The simple answer is that planting old seeds is possible and OK.
Using old seeds will not cause any harm. Flowers or fruits that come from expired seeds will be of the same quality as if they were grown from fresh seeds. Using seeds from old vegetable seed packs will produce vegetables that are as nutritious as those in the current season's seeds. Most vegetable seeds will remain viable for several years if stored in a cool, dry place.
If properly stored, cabbage, broccoli, cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon, eggplant and radish seeds will remain viable for 5 years. Bean, carrot, pea, pepper, tomato, cauliflower and pumpkin seeds can be stored for 3 to 4 years. Sweet corn and onion seeds remain viable only for 1 to 2 years. Viable seeds should germinate in approximately six to 10 days, but you should check the time period indicated on each seed package.
Like other seeds, how long grass seeds remain viable depends on the variety of seeds and how well they are stored, Kauth says. Still, if you do a germination test on old seeds and the seedlings appear stunted (leaves or root systems smaller than normal), it's probably time to start over with new seeds. By the time you notice that the seeds haven't germinated, your garden will be several weeks late in what it should be. To help you determine if your seeds are still viable, refer to the following table, which indicates the life expectancy of certain types of vegetable seeds stored under ideal conditions.
The length of time that vegetable seeds can be stored varies widely, depending on the type of seed and storage conditions. If you want to try several varieties of vegetables or flowers in a small garden without a lot of leftover seeds, consider sharing seed packs or trading with your neighbors or friends. Both treatments can reduce germination of old or poor quality seeds, but have minimal effect on fresh, good quality seeds. I have decided to get rid of the seeds after three years, since it is a lot of work to prepare and plant them and then have a bad result and have to replant several weeks later with other seeds.
The seeds you can buy today for these two wonderful peppers are descendants of the seeds found in that old freezer. Seeds expire, but expiration dates are rough guidelines; experts say it depends on the type of seeds and how they were stored. Seeds from biennial crops, such as carrots or beets, are more difficult to save, since plants need two growing seasons to sow seeds. Every year, inevitably, you will run out of space in the garden and you will have a certain amount of seeds left over after planting.